The Blast fell into a gigantic hole last night at 1st Mariner Arena and couldn't dig all the way out.
As a result, Detroit beat the Blast for the second time in eight days, riding a big halftime advantage to a 19-11 Major Indoor Soccer League triumph before 8,228. A trend that began in the Ignition's first season last year continued as its lead in the series ballooned to seven wins to one.
The defeat was the third straight for the Blast after the team opened the season with five consecutive victories. The Ignition improved to 5-2 and passed Baltimore in the standings.
"I don't know what to say. I'm embarrassed," Blast coach Danny Kelly said. "People come and pay hard-earned money to see us play, and for 30 minutes we didn't show up. That was completely unacceptable. What I saw was not good enough by a lot of people -- veterans, rookies. If you're not focused on what your job is and the strength of the other team's players, you're not going to have your job long."
The Ignition broke open a defensive struggle with a nine-point, second-quarter outburst for a 9-0 halftime lead that left the Blast in major trouble.
It began when Worteh Sampson took a pass off the board from Vahid Assadpour and spun around defender Marko Bedenikovic for a 2-0 lead. A tripping penalty against Detroit's Matt Johnson gave the Blast an excellent opportunity to get even quickly, but five scoring chances -- four saved spectacularly by Ignition goalie Danny Waltman -- went unrewarded, and the infraction was killed.
Then, Jonathan Greenfield knocked a three-pointer off a rebound, Hewerton Moreira scored on the power play nine seconds after Blast forward Michael Todd entered the penalty box for boarding, and a determined push by Droo Callahan through the Baltimore defense resulted in another goal.
All this was accomplished without two of the team's major attacking threats. Mike Apple, the team's No. 2 scorer who had two goals in Detroit's victory in the earlier meeting against the Blast, missed the game with a knee injury, and Jamar Beasley, the reigning MISL scoring champion and Most Valuable Player, was absent with a hamstring problem.
The Blast battled back to within 14-11 and was still in the game until an open-net three-pointer by Doug Rice salted it away after Baltimore had pulled its goalie.
"We came flat," said Denison Cabral, the Blast's all-time leading scorer. "That's not a way to start out at home and against a good team. Why not start on fire like we did in the second half? I'm not pointing fingers; I'm sure I missed some things a time or two myself. There are no excuses for how we played in the first half."
Detroit 0 9 5 5 -- 19
Blast 0 0 9 2 --11
Scoring: None. Penalties: None.
Scoring: 1. Detroit, Sampson (Assadpour) 4:51; 2. Detroit, Greenfield (Moreira), (3 pt. goal) 9:47; 3. Detroit, Moreira (Sampson), 11:12; 4. Detroit, Callahan (unassisted), 13:34. Penalties: D, Johnson, 6:36; B, Todd, 11:06.
Scoring: 5. Blast, Gonzaga (Cabral), 1:15; 6. Blast, Garcia (Millwood), 3:20; 7. Detroit, Callahan (unassisted) (3 pt. goal), 5:59; 8. Blast, Gonzaga (Wakefield) (3-pt. goal), 10:23; 9. Blast, Cabral (shootout), 10:51; 10. Detroit, Francois (Moreira), 12:00. Penalties: D, Richardino, 7:00; D, Johnson, 10:47.
Scoring: 11. Blast, Cabral (Millwood), 6:02; 12. Detroit, Sampson (Rice), 9:22; 13. Detroit, Rice (unassisted) (3 pt. goal), 12:16. Penalties: B, Devlin, 3:15.